“HSAA/NUPGE will be keeping a close eye on where that money is spent to ensure it goes to the frontlines where it’s needed.” — Mike Parker, HSAA President
Edmonton (23 March 2018) — Alberta’s budget takes a step in the right direction to ease the pressure on the province’s broken EMS system, says the Health Sciences Association of Alberta (HSAA/NUPGE).
Increased investment in EMS and in health care a positive sign for Alberta
“We’re relieved to see that the government has abandoned the 2-year spending freeze on ambulance services it proposed last year. The 6 per cent increase of $29 million in that item this year should help provide some of the extra ambulances and paramedics that Albertans desperately need."
“HSAA/NUPGE will be keeping a close eye on where that money is spent to ensure it goes to the frontlines where it’s needed,” says Mike Parker, President of HSAA, which represents more than 25,000 health care professionals. “We are also pleased to see planned growth of 5 per cent in 2019/20 and 6 per cent in 2020/21 for ambulance services,” he says.
“Meanwhile, we were relieved to see [the] overall operating budget for health care increased by 3 per cent over last year and for the following 2 years. We’d been expecting less than that. That compares to predicted population growth and inflation costs rising 3 per cent per year,” says Parker.
HSAA/NUPGE to monitor spending to ensure frontline workers and services get funding
“We need to see that money directed to frontline care so our health care system can try to keep pace with the growing demand for services,” he says.
“There are currently 800 unfilled jobs for health care professionals — positions that haven’t been filled because of a squeeze on spending. That means missing respiratory therapists, social workers, counselors, lab workers, MRI technologists — there are people missing throughout our system who should be there to help and treat Albertans,” says Parker.
The National Union of Public and General Employees (NUPGE) is one of Canada's largest labour organizations with over 390,000 members. Our mission is to improve the lives of working families and to build a stronger Canada by ensuring our common wealth is used for the common good. — NUPGE